Archive for November, 2010

And It’s ON!

A few months back my Shishter (not to be confused with my S-I-S-T-E-R) and I were discussing her budding relationship with this handsome feller who had wandered into her life.

My Shishter is 34, never married, quite beautiful, and has always sort of pooh poohed the idea of love. She could’ve probably been married as many times as Tammy Wynette by now, had she wanted to.  She’s always been very picky and would write somebody off if they didn’t possess a quality she wanted in a man or if there was something she didn’t quite like, never looking back or second guessing her decision to dump or compromising her standards.

I’ve always admired her un-clingyness to men and that she wouldn’t go out with one because she “needed” one. She’s very independent, self-sufficient and totally comfortable with herself to not need a guy in her world.

She had met The Fireman, who had been married previously and has three children, two of whom are young adults who still live at home and another one that’s about 5. 

She was telling me of a situation where plans had changed, with the Fireman,  at the last moment, as things have a tendency to do when one is a parent. She wasn’t much crazy about it at all and said something like she didn’t know if she wanted to do this because she liked her “nice, quiet, no drama” sort of life. 

Being the wise old grandmother I am, I said to her “Shishter…you have been pretty fortunate in your life to not have anything really rock your world. You do realize that tomorrow your world could be turned upside down by something totally out of your control, don’t you? You could go home and find your house totally burned to the ground with every possession you own gone or you could get a frightening, life-changing diagnosis.”  I went on and on with my sermon,  because after all, I’ve been through the illnesses and deaths of both of my parents, lived through my 16-year-old daughter telling me she was pregnant, a divorce, blah, blah….I was beginning to sound like the Charlie Brown schoolteacher to myself even.

There was NO way I would’ve guessed that within a couple of months, what I told her was going to, like, really happen.  I was talking hypothetical. Totally. My Shishter has had it pretty good.

Last Wednesday, my dear best friend found out that she has breast cancer and probably next week will undergo a double mastectomy to be followed by chemotherapy and probably radiation. She is 34 years old with no family history. She is totally, completely in love for the first time in her life.  This is not supposed to be.  It’s not a bad dream that I’m hoping to wake up from. It’s real. And it all came down so quick.

She found her lump a week ago Wednesday. She always did regular self checks. This came up out of nowhere.

I have no doubt that my Shishter has the cojones to kick this cancer square in the arse and make it sorry it ever messed with her. She is a tenacious and stubborn girl. I have vowed to fight it right along with her, doing whatever I need or have to do. I’ve told her I will shave my head right along with her. Not that that would fix the problem but if it  makes her feel not quite so alone to deal with the loss of her hair, by golly, I can lose mine too.

Cancer, I hate you. You took my parents, my stepfather, two of my aunts, two uncles, dear friends, but you will NOT take my Shishter from me.

Getting Used To Life Not Being Fair

I was walking through the Kroger yesterday after work and beings it’s Holiday Time, there was a voice on the speaker trying to get people to donate to Second Harvest.
Second Harvest seems to do really good work in feeding the people of Nashville when times are hard. I’ve participated in their various food drives through the years and am always glad to support them and would encourage anybody to help them out.

I could not help but giggle though when I heard the thing on the speaker about giving to Second Harvest. The voice said “Do you know 1 in 8 Tennesseans are at risk for hunger?”

Really? How does that jive with the news earlier this year that Tennessee jumped from 4th place to 2nd place in the nation as the Fatty State?

I am not a statistician nor am I good with numbers but somebody please explain who is right here??? Who is at risk for “hunger?” Define hunger”. Usually, the people I see whipping out the foodstamps at the grocery store do not look like they’ve missed any meals.

The whole thing just made me laugh.

When it comes to matters of a weighty sort, it irritates me to no end because now, I’m at a point where FINALLY, I do not obsess over how I am not as good as this person or that one because I’m not thin. I have birthed 3 children and although I’m not what I think to be big as a house, the weight charts say I am.

I now can boast having some high blood pressure to contend with. Everytime I’m at the doctor, they point out I need to lose weight. I especially love when the doctor’s nurse (who is about one and a half of me put together) calls and says, in regards to my blood pressure management to “Reduce your weight.” Right on, Honey. I’m so encouraged by you since you are so slim and trim yourself. It’s just effed up.

For years, I beat myself up and always felt as though I were inferior to others. The day I married in 1989, my dress was a size 8. AN 8! Yet, in my head, I thought I was as big as a house.

It might’ve been because several months before that, the first time I went out to eat with my future in laws, we were walking through Rivergate Mall. My then future and former sister in law, who is Japanese and weighed all of 100 lbs, and the rest of them, stopped to get a cookie at the cookie shop.

I did not desire a cookie at the moment. At that point, I was not big on sweets. My then future, now former mother in law asked me if I wanted a cookie. I said no. She said to me, with a sort of “Bless Your Heart” tone…”Yeah, I guess you have to really watch what you eat.”

WTF? That was June of 1989. I weighed 130 lbs and fluctuated between a size 6 and 8. I was also 20 years old and I wanted her to approve of me. I was convinced I was a lard ass.

She further convinced me of my heftiness a year after I married her son.

I ran into her one morning right before Christmas, again at the mall. She said “I want to get you some clothes. But not jeans. You don’t look good in jeans.”

Ahh…the Good Ol’ Days….nothing says “love” and “acceptance” quite like your mother in law reminding you you aren’t Twiggy.

I know I need to exercise regularly. I know this. I know I need to eat smarter. I know I have to think about my health, especially now that I’m over 40 and I don’t want to be 75 -80 years old and being one of those that say “If I’d have known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” 

It especially hits home because the last few days, my thoughts have been with a wonderful family I’ve known since I was a small child who are, at this writing, sitting by the bedside of their 44 year old son and brother in a hospice in Ft. Smith, Arkansas,  waiting for him to die as a result of a brain stem stroke he suffered last week.

John was a good school chum of my sister. We went to church with them when we were really young. I was in Sunday School with his brother and later in the Franklin band with him and his future wife. As an adult, their father was my upline boss. They are such great folks and I’m so heartbroken for them with what they are going through. He was not what I’d call huge but he did enjoy food, wine and life in general. Probably too much.

In your 20’s and 30’s, you eat, drink, smoke all you want and it doesn’t seem to have a lot of effect on your body, at the time. Somehow, though, you cross that 40 Line, and you suddenly have to, like, THINK about all that.

These are things in my brain today…

A Plea To Miranda and Hilary

I gripe often about the current state of Country Music. So much so, I know it’s quite redundant and it makes me sound like I might possibly be running low on my Geritol.  Brace yourselves…for I am about to embark on a positive pontification about a couple of current Country Music people. This doesn’t happen often, nor can I predict when it will happen again. Soak it up, y’all.

I actually LIKE Miranda Lambert. There, I said it. She writes her own songs and chooses songs that have substance, a good beat and are easy to dance to. She can play a guitar. She’s from Texas.  She can harmonize. (Not everybody can. This brings large points with me from any singer)

I looove that Little White Liar song she sings. There’s some other song I’ve heard of hers that I can recall its title at the moment but I like it. I LOVE “The House That Built Me.” First time I heard it, which was not long after my mother died, I proceeded to burst into controllable tears and sobbing.

Admittedly, I have an issue with Miranda and Sheryl Crow singing with my Loretty on “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, namely because she doesn’t say “In the summertime we didn’t have shoes to waaaaaar; but in the wintertime, we’d all get a brand new paaaaaaar” like it was intended by the Good Lord to be done. (I am saying this in the same tone Loretty tells Doo in the movie that “You don’t put no salt in chocolate pie…you jess put shigger”)

Songs like “Coal Miner’s Daughter” should not be sung by anyone who is not the offspring of a coal miner.

Now, Patty Loveless was a Coal Miner’s Daughter as obviously was Loretta’s sisters Crystal Gayle and Peggy (PAIG-gy) Sue.   The kids of all those Chilean miners could sing it and I would be tickled! 

I have come to terms with Miranda and Sheryl singing on Coal Miner’s Daughter just because Loretta wanted them to sing it. That’s that.

Anyhoo, back to the newly crowned CMA Vocalist of the Year-Miranda is a beautiful young woman. One of the things that makes her so gorgeous to me is she is not anorexic like her pal here and looks like she’s eaten this week.  You can’t count the bones in her shoulder area. She looks healthy.

Her pal here looks pale and perhaps a little dehydrated. Somebody give Taylor some beans and cornbread!!! Stat!

Look at the gorgeous Hilary Scott of Lady Antebellum, who I ALSO like.

Something about Hilary that stands out is she is a brunette! She has curves. She can sing. Why she thinks she needs those other two guys to have a career, I do not know. 

I implore both Miranda and Hilary…please, PLEASE do not destroy your faces with plastic surgery.  And regardless of what your likely overweight publicists/handlers may try to tell you, you do not need to lose weight.  Even ol’ Reba is starting to get that scary, Mary Tyler Moore-look. Just don’t do it. Reba needed a little help. You girls do NOT. 

I did not watch the awards at all last night. I purposely skipped them. I realized late last night why I really didn’t have a desire to watch and it wasn’t because I feared upchucking over the off-key singing I knew I would hear.

Reason I didn’t want to watch was I knew I wouldn’t get multiple phone calls from Mom saying how much she misses Ernest Tubb and asking why that Sugarland girl kept showing her armpits.

:Sigh: